Drug testing

Educational Toys - How Do Parents Choose The Best Toys For Their Child

The choices are mind numbing. Walk into any toy store or the toy section of any department store and there are shelves and tiers of toys labeled 'educational toys'. There are books, games, dolls and the list just goes on and on. It includes everything from an infant's building blocks to Leapfrog interactive games. The sheer variety is overwhelming. How does a parent or a grandparent choose the best educational toys for the children in their lives? Will the child like it? Will it hold up under the abuse of play? Will it accomplish the purposes for which it was purchased? And finally, is it a good value for the money?

The first rule that parents and grandparents should keep in mind is to buy educational toys that are age appropriate. The temptation is nearly overwhelming to buy children, especially infants, toys that reflect the interests of the giver. For example, how many times have you seen fathers who were sports enthusiasts give a child a piece of sports equipment that was way beyond the youngster's ability to use. Footballs, fishing rods and bows and arrows given to infants and toddlers are a complete waste of money. Parents, proudly convinced they are raising a child prodigy, create a frustrated youngster when they push the child into playing with toys outside the manufacturer's suggested age range. Real safety hazards are presented when children are encouraged to play with toys beyond their ability to understand or handle safely.

The second rule of buying educational toys is to keep in touch with the child's interests. Children grow and develop at rapid rates, both mentally and physically. Continually changing interests are a natural part of this development as the child explores new ideas and concepts. It is important for parents, and grandparents, to spend time playing with the child for a whole host of reasons. One of those reasons is that it helps the adult keep in touch with the child's current interests. Play is how children learn and educational toys are tools of that play. It does little good to buy a small girl jigsaw puzzles and Teletubbies when what really interests her are word games and chemistry sets.

Educational Toys Should Serve A Purpose And Stimulate The Child

Choose educational toys that stimulate the child. How often have we purchased children a toy and watched them shove the toy aside and play with the box in which it was packaged? Educational toys are of two basic types. They are those that develop physical skills and those that develop cognitive skills. Legos, for example, are great educational toys for older pre-school and elementary school aged children. Legos invite children to become creative as they assemble these interlocking blocks into an unlimited myriad of shapes and designs. The activity of assembling the Legos also helps develop fine motor skills.

Beware toys that are so highly developed that the game does all of the play. Some video games fall into this category. The child does not have to think or even be especially adept or coordinated physically to play the game. These games may be an interesting diversion for the youngster, but they contribute very little to either the youngster's creative or physical development.

When selecting educational toys, choose quality over quantity. We have discussed children's continually evolving interests. Even so, we all too often overwhelm our children at gift-giving occasions such as birthdays, Christmas and Hanukkah. Youngsters go from toy to toy and cannot decide with which to play. If this only happens a couple of times a year the child will eventually sort them out and play with all of them. The problem is that many children are continually given new toys, not only at special occasions but also throughout the year.

Some children are given so many toys that they remain overwhelmed. They do not learn to appreciate the things that they are given. They can also develop a distorted sense of values. They begin to equate parental and grandparental love with the quantity of things they are given. Their expectations of what they will be given escalate into unrealistic levels. This is a disastrous characteristic if it is carried into adulthood.

Children overwhelmed by the number of toys they are given receive little benefit from the educational toys. They cannot concentrate on any one toy long enough to let their creativity blossom. Too many toys can be damaging to a youngster.

Parents and grandparents should also concentrate on toys with build-in quality. As we have already discussed, the toy should be designed to stimulate the child's physical skills or creative abilities. The toy should also be safe and durable for the age group of children for which it was designed. The toy should be designed to hold up well under the abuse of play. It should not be constructed of potentially toxic materials such as lead-based paint. It should also be constructed in a manner where small pieces that can be swallowed will not readily be broken off and in a way that there are minimal risks of injury from sharp edges or corners.

While there are many small manufacturers of excellent toys, when in doubt choose toys made by top-rated companies with time tested brand names. Examples include Fisher Price, Disney games and Milton Bradley to name just a few.

Parents and grandparents can help their youngsters safely develop into happy, healthy and well-rounded young adults with some conscientious attention to the educational toys they choose. Just keep in mind the child's level of development and current interest and choose toys that are appropriate for that age and interest. Make sure the toy will stimulate the child either physically or creatively. You want to stretch the child's abilities, but not so much that the youngster becomes frustrated or so little that the child either becomes bored with the toy or lazy physically or mentally. Finally, if given the choice, select one or two quality toys rather than a room full of cheap toys.

About the author: Royce Armstrong is a successful freelance writer with a business and banking background who believes consumers should get the best value for their money when shopping for educational toys including: science toys, mind puzzles and other unique toys.

In The News:

Skygazers will be treated to the “super snow moon,” on Feb. 19, the largest supermoon of 2019.
In November 2016, astronomers watched a young star some 1,500 light-years away from Earth belch out an explosion of plasma and radiation that was roughly 10 billion times more powerful than any flare ever seen leaving Earth's sun. This sudden stellar eruption may be the most luminous known flare ever released by a young star — and it could help scientists better understand the still-murky process of star formation.
An audacious attempt to find explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton’s ship Endurance has been called off after the expedition team lost an undersea drone beneath Antarctic ice.
“Our wish is to fly this year,” NASA official Thomas Zurbuchen said at the surprise announcement of a new Moon mission overnight. “We want to incentive speed … We want to start taking shots on goal.”
Bones recently found in a Siberian cave have given researchers a new glimpse into the timeline of an extinct human species. The species – known as Denisovans – at one time lived alongside Neanderthals in the same cave, the evidence showed.
NASA's Opportunity Rover has died on Mars.
A rare 12th-century triple toilet seat will be going on display at a London museum later this year.
Ex-baseball player Jose Canseco has officially joined the group that believes "the truth is out there" and is on the hunt for UFOs and Bigfoot. 
MILAN (AP) — Archaeologists have discovered a fresco in an ancient Pompeii residence that portrays the mythological hunter Narcissus, who fell in love with his own reflection.
It’s a river unlike any in Australia — and a fortnight ago it barely existed.

Weathering Colic for New Parents

A common problem many times facing parents is Colic. Estimates... Read More

Parenting Your Teenager: Are Sleep Overs with the Opposite Sex OK?

Q. Our 17-year-old son wants us to let his girlfriend... Read More

Top Seven Tips To Become A Good Stepmother

Becoming a stepmother can undoubtedly be one of the most... Read More

If at First They Dont Succeed - What a Great Opportunity!

When kids try new things, sometimes it's a 'fit' and... Read More

Parenting Styles - Overcoming Your Differences

If you spend any time in the parenting section of... Read More

Our Recommended Eating Program for ADHD

Below is a copy of our eating program for Attention... Read More

Promoting Your Childs Heart Health

Cardiovascular endurance is one of the five health-related components of... Read More

Go Ahead - Make Dads Day

Throughout the year, many days of celebration are tucked capriciously... Read More

Be Serious With Your Child Future

As a parent your biggest responsibility is to prepare your... Read More

Will My Doubts and Fears Affect My Child?

"Will my doubts and fears affect my child?" This father... Read More

New Baby ? Relax and Become a Yummy Mummy

Lets face it becoming a mum is a bit of... Read More

Its OK For Your Child To Be Bored - In Fact, Its Recommended!

NY -- Strange as it may sound, bordom promotes happier,... Read More

Diaper Bags for Dads - Papas Got a Brand New Bag

Today's dads are more hands-on than ever before and their... Read More

Life Lessons Learned in My Underwear

For several years now, I've told the following story as... Read More

Being A Mum - It?s About Them And Not About You!

So you want to be a mum? Every time you... Read More

A Dangerous Environment

The internet is a dangerous place for your children. Don't... Read More

Missing The Bus

As a step daughter and step grand daughter, I followed... Read More

Kids: Channeling Mania Towards Productivity

More and more kids these days are diagnosed ADD, ADHD,... Read More

Overscheduled Kids

Time devoted the better part of an issue to it.... Read More

Strategies to Help Boost Your Childs Self Esteem

Self esteem in an important quality for all children to... Read More

The Importance of Mothers

Moms, did you ever question your value as a role... Read More

Books Around the House Make A Difference in Literacy Rates

We need a grass roots campaign targeted towards parents to... Read More

Cyber Parenting 101

Many parental units are not "techies" and openly admit they... Read More

How Is Peaceful Parenting? Different?

Peaceful Parenting? ideas are very different from other kinds of... Read More

Back to School; Time to Recharge

The back-to-school shopping is done. Brand new pencils, colored markers,... Read More

led dome light bulbs led street lights retrofit Pete's produce ..